My kids are so excited about Halloween. Fall is gorgeous up here in New England, the leaves are changing, the temperatures are falling, and we are really enjoying it. Because we are in a new area, and only know a few of our neighbors, Trick or Treating will be a great time for us to meet and introduce ourselves to our other neighbors. However, it’s also a good time to remind kids of safety rules that they should always follow. The one exception is Never Take Candy from a Stranger. We let them know that the ONLY time that is acceptable is when your parents are with you AND we thoroughly inspect it BEFORE they open it to eat it.
Here are some other ways that using common sense at Halloween can help protect the safety of your children and teach them valuable lessons.
- In our family, the kids ONLY trick or treat with parents present. If your kids are allowed to go alone, be sure they know they should never enter a strangers home.
- Be aware of food allergies that others may have.
- Make sure costumes are fitted properly so they don’t trip and fall. Make sure they are bundled if it’s cold, or in layers if it’s hot. PLEASE be sure any masks fit properly so they can see around them, and that they are flame retardant. You don’t want them to get too close to a pumpkin with a candle and catch on fire!
- Carry a flashlight or lightstick, wear reflective clothing, be aware of traffic around you, and stay out of harms way.
- Reinforce looking both ways before crossing the street AND what to do if you see a car coming (Logan has a hard time with that one!)
- It’s not nice to play tricks on people. Yes, when you are teenagers, it can be fun to prank (when done safely and responsibly) but throwing eggs at people, buildings, cars is not safe, and shaving cream can damage paint on cars, etc. They need to know their actions may have consequences.
- NEVER hurt animals.
- NEVER eat candy your parents haven’t checked for safety.
- Don’t eat too much candy – parents should impose limits and put the rest of the stash out of reach until the next snack time.
- Eat a healthy, filling dinner BEFORE you go out, so they kids aren’t starving and wanting to fill up on candy.
- BRUSH TEETH BEFORE BED – should be a given anyway, but especially after eating candy.
- Check the internet for Sex Offenders in your neighborhood, or the neighborhood where you may be trick or treating. I use Family Watchdog (not a sponsored link, just for your information). You don’t know what the crime was, but it’s always better to be vigilant and safe where your kids are concerned. This doesn’t mean you can’t show kindness to your neighbors – but you should be cautious.
- KNOW WHERE YOUR KIDS ARE AND ARE GOING. Keep tabs on them. If they are young – go with them. If they are teens and are going to parties – set boundaries and give them instructions on what to do if they feel uncomfortable, etc. Have a way to keep in contact with them, and make sure they know they can call you at any time to be picked up.